Arrows of Accusations
"That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among who ye shine as lights in the world." Philippians 2:15
Recently, I was talking to a well respected lady in my community. We were both laminating over how we had both, in different ways, been attacked by people. We both said, "Me, too," a lot as we shared our hearts about how it feels to be hunkered down behind a shield while arrows of lies were flung toward us full throttle.
It can be a paralyzing, anxiety ridden day, month or season of life.
Have you ever had a falsehood spoken against you? Have you ever had someone blame you for something you didn't do or have them accuse you of something that is either a lie or a misunderstanding? Or how about the person that doesn't have the whole story and just latches on to what they choose to believe without hearing you out? Maybe you have had your name attached to lies and gossip that are spread like fire by those who like to stir up drama?
To top it off, these can oftentimes be "church folk" who spend more time spreading gossip than the gospel.
Believe me, I've been there. And I really don't know anyone that hasn't. It's one thing we all have in common, sadly. We've been the topic of negative conversations.
Well, here's the deal......
The first recorded words of Jesus that I can find are found in Luke 2:49. His parents had lost him. When they finally found him in the temple, he said, "Why did you seek me? Didn't you know I must be in my Father's house?" His words point to a subject of location as opposed to an action.
In other words, "Why did you have to look any farther than my Father's house? I am always about his business."
I find it intriguing these are Jesus's first recorded words. It's important that we realize the significance of what he is saying.
If we are always about the Father's business, the lies of our enemies sound foolish to those who know us well. If we are seeking the Kingdom first and living righteously, all things will be added unto us. (Matthew 6:33)
I know there have been times people have said things to me I knew had to be complete lies, because I knew the person in question and his/her character. I was able to defend the person or remind the one doing the accusing of the saying, "two sides to every story."
Philippians 2:15 reminds us to live above reproach. It means we live our lives with integrity and moral quality. It means we abide in the Word and strive daily to uphold the reputation of our Father.
Living above reproach doesn't mean we are without sin. What it does mean is we don't live a lifestyle of sin. We don't chose sin day in and day out. It means that no one can honestly bring a hefty charge or accusation against us (Acts 25:7, 1 Peter 3:16).
I want to be the best representation of Jesus possible, but I know I fall short. I know I have faults. I am not perfect, and I know I can't be perfect whilst on this earth. But I know who has all the answers. I know who can give me peace in troubled waters. I know who can calm the storms. I know who can make the lies spoken by my enemies fall to the ground without sticking. I know who stands as a shield in front of me when the arrows come. I have a Father in heaven who fights for me. He fights for you, too.
I want to live my life in such a way if someone hears something he/she can say, "That can't be right. I know her. She is about her Father's business. She wouldn't do that. There's more to this story."
And I want to be the kind of person who believes the best about others when I hear things said about them. It's a two way street.
If....NO, when you find yourself under attack, remember the Word, "No weapon formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against in judgement shall be condemned. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 54:17.
I also like to remind myself of the words of a previous political figure in our community who said, "When opposition comes against you, remember this: 50% of people aren't involved in what you are doing and know nothing about it. 49% are in agreement with you and are on your team. 1% is against you. Don't let the 1% be louder than the 99%."
Tonight, when you lay your head on your pillow, I hope you will remember who is on your team. I hope you remember no matter what, God is FOR you. He is not against you. And when He is for you, who can be against you? (Romans 8:31)
Remember to seek Jesus when you're under attack. Just like he said as a twelve year old boy, he can always be found in his Father's house, doing his Father's business. He is found in the Word. He is found in us as we become his hands and his feet on this temporary journey to our forever home.
Father, I pray that we remember to live righteous lives that represent you well. I pray that you give us wisdom and guidance. I pray that you help us to remember that your opinion of us is the only one that truly matters. Thank you for fighting for us. Thank you for protecting us during the storms. Thank you for taking away our anxieties and replacing it with your peace. Let us always remember you are on our team. We love you. In Jesus's name. Amen.